Friday, February 12, 2016

A(nother) Dream Comes True!

Well, we had a(nother) first here on the farm this weekend, and let me tell you, it was awfully exciting for me.  Something we've dreamed about for years!  Let me set the stage....
On Saturday morning, we woke up to a crazy windstorm.  The weather network was saying there was wind up to 100 kms/hr. - it was really blowing!  Thankfully, it was also chinook-ing, so it was a warm wind.  However, still crazy.  So crazy, in fact, that it BLEW OVER our flagpole. 
I saw our flagpole laying on the ground, and after checking it out, realized that it had bent at the base.  That's how windy it was!  Wind like this is more common in Southern Alberta, but not up here, in bush country.
Anyhow, moving on... I woke up, and knew that we had one cow that's close to calving, and I thought I should go and close all the gates to make sure the cows couldn't get into the big pastures, but rather stay put in the smaller, more sheltered pens.  Of course they haven't gone into the pasture for months, but knowing them, and crazy weather, a person never knows.
Well, we got into our day, doing other things, and I promptly forgot to go and close the gates.  Naturally.  Mid-afternoon I remembered, and went to check the cows and realized that we had a cow missing.  Bah!  So off we trudged, in the wind and snow, to try and find the mama.  We looked until it was dark, with no such luck.  Of course.  I knew that she was old enough to know to find some shelter, so we tried to enjoy our evening with friends, knowing that come morning, we'd go and find her.
After a quick breakfast in the morning, and once it was fully light, all 6 of us headed out, starting at the far east corner of the farm, and moving slowly through the bush to try and find this stinking cow.
  After a few hours of walking, Art went back to the house to get the ranger and some snacks, and came to find us.  Abby happened to see some movement, deep in the slough, and sure enough, there's Mama!  The ranger scared her off, so we walked over to where she had been standing, and there, in the cover of trees, was a wee little calf.  We had been hearing the coyotes all morning, so I'm sure Mama was chasing them off, and thankfully, she managed to keep them at bay. 
With Mama gone, we bedded down to wait it out, knowing she'd come back to her baby, but Art ended up finding her (again!!), and let her into a smaller pasture with grain, and we loaded up baby in the calf sled and pulled her back to the pens. 

Through the deep snow.  Ugh.  It was a workout and a half! 
Once Mama saw baby, she got anxious, but we were able to get them to the cover of the calving shed, and they relaxed in the straw. 
Baby's doing really well, and after giving him his shots and tagging him, we've left them alone to recover from the exciting days.
We've been dreaming of the days when we start calving out our own cattle, and so it was really exciting that we have the first baby under our belt.  I felt like we got initiated this weekend, and let me tell ya, it felt really, really good!

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